asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he proposes to take concerning delays being experienced by tenants in Southwark in being sent draft legal documents in connection with the purchase of their council houses.
My Department has taken up with the London borough of Southwark complaints made by right-to-buy purchasers, in particular those that result from the council's policy of referring all prospective sales to members for approval before legal documents are dispatched. This can lead to unnecessary delays of over three months. Southwark council's attention has been drawn to the Secretary of State's powers and responsibilities under section 23 of the Housing Act 1980 and warned of the possibility of intervention should its procedures continue to cause unnecessary delay. My Department is monitoring the position very closely.